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Winner of Statewide interdisciplinary 3 Minute Thesis Competition People’s choice award, May 17 2014 Winner of UOregon interdisciplinary 3 Minute Thesis Competition People’s choice award, May 10 2014


Beyond the tent: Re]thinking Architecture of response to[ Service Refugees and their Host Communities A thesis submitted to the University of Oregon, Portland For partial fulfillment for a Master of Architecture In the School of Architecture and Allied Arts Department 2013-2014 Grace Mikhael Aaraj Masters of Architecture, University of Oregon 2014 grace.aaraj@gmail.com LinkedIn: Grace Aaraj Research under the supervision of: Hans Neis PhD, Professor at University of Oregon Michael Mehaffy, Executive Director of Sustasis Foundation. Vanessa Cass, Guest critic at University of Oregon Content last revised December 2013


Winter 2014 FInal Thesis - Photo Courtesy of UOregon A&AA

ACKNOQLEDGMENT


Where to begin from? I would like to thank my parents for encouraging me with the most valuable power: love and not money. My mother Etidal and my father Mikhael, as they have thought me not only dedication and hard work, but humility as well. As they let me live my dreams and learn from my own mistakes. My two brothers Rabih and Dani and my sister Rita. For their families, and especially their children Perla, Michel, Marie Ange and Michel. In the hope that the world we are giving them is a better one than the one we inherited. I would like to thank my partner in life, sorrow and joy, Joseph Kaddissi. For the whole seven years of love, patience and encouragement. For believing in me and encouraging me. I would like to thank the Fulbright Scholarship as they supported me when no one was willing to take that risk. I would like to thank my school at the University of Oregon and all the professors who overlooked this research, My sincere gratitude to both Prof. Hajo Neis, Michael Mehaffy and Lloyd Lindley for helping me better understanding what I am doing and most importantly why, and for guiding me throught the hardship of making decisions, Thank you Becca Cavell from THA architecture for the encouragement and the advices. My sincere gratitude to Sergio Palleroni for all what he thaught me during our design-build trip to Haiti, My sincere gratitude to Howard Davis whom unconditional support and insightful attitude shaped my determination, My sincere gratitude to Prof. Emeritus Jim Pettinari for all the conversations we had about architecture but most importantly life. Thank you Sabina Samiee, the communications officer at UO Portland for being a friend. Thank you Kate Wagle and Karen Munro for believing in me and encouraging me to share my knowledge with others. Finally, in this digital age of social media, thank you for everyone especially in Lebanon who still found the time in their busy life to encourage me through kind words. You drew a smile on my face each time.


Spring 2014 FInal Thesis - Photo Courtesy of Joseph Kaddissi


FINAL PRESENTATION


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Entrance| volunteers and refugees


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Training | learning for a better future


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Auditorium | outside meets the inside


FINAL MODELS


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View from North | industrial part

Urban model

View from South | residential part


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Under the canopy | outdoor spaces

Building model

Building | roof and terraces


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Under the canopy | outdoor spaces

View from the river

Building | roof and terraces


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Polycarbonate walls

Tectonic model

Installation detail carved on model


Business cards | please take one

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Quote and rendering from thesis


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Business cards holder


DESIGN PROCESS


designing the site

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areas of development

main access studies

pedestrian activity

first sketch

cluster configuration

single access point

multiple access roads

rural market feel

flexible spaces sketch


phasing the developmeny

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STREET NETWORK| CONTINUATION

TRANSITION| THE BUILDING

Expansion of existing street network. Connec- The building placed as the main service provider tion over the river for pedestrian access. for the community and the incoming refugees.


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ACTIVITY| THE MARKET

EXPANSION| THE SHELTER

Live/work units as the first step towards economic More residential units put into place into a balparticipation and empowerment. anced urban fabric.


imagining the shelter

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market and shelters

shelter double height space

model sketch for market

interior spaces


designing the building

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the courtyard

the additions

the bridges


Winter 2014 design

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community nodes

FORM| CLARITY Boxes overlooking all spaces and containing the community functions: • Aid organizations offices • Medical assistance • Training spaces • Community Kitchen • Multipurpose space

partitions + walls

DIVISIONS| INDIVIDUALIZATION Subdivided spaces for individual or familial use: • Gardening spaces • Transitional units for refugees • Workspaces for refugees

slabs + functions

SURFACES| VARIATION Variation of slabs to create different heights and surface, favoring : • Solar orientation • Air flow • Light and shade • Circulation • Views

columns structure

STRUCTURE| REPLICATION Concrete post and beams construction for ease of construction, expansion and availability of materials and skills: • 4.5 x 4.5 meters grid • Smallest unit is 20.25 sqm • Expandable units • Open spaces where needed

axonometric view

PUBLIC SPACE| PUBLIC ACCESS A mix of linear and enclosed open spaces: • Private and public uses • Circulation and assembly • Occasional and daily

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Winter 2014 design

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Master's in Architecture Design Report